Creamy, lemony, and aromatic, this lemon rosemary chicken gnocchi recipe is a great way to utilize chicken breasts and add a lot of flavor to them. It’s so easy to make and you only need one pan!
Boring to flavorful
I’m not a big fan of chicken breasts — it’s easy to dry them out and they need a lot of love to taste good. My husband, on the other hand, is a big fan. His mom was really big on cooking healthy meals for the family and she often used chicken breasts, so my husband grew up eating them. I’m Filipino, so most of the chicken dishes I grew up eating used chicken thighs and drumsticks. Dark meat was cheaper and more accessible, but it also didn’t take much to take in flavor.
While my husband will eat and appreciate anything I put on the table, I always try to make sure that our meat preferences get equal love on the menu. That being said, I always blank out on what to do with chicken breasts because I find them so boring. But, it does push me to be more creative and produce something that not only my husband will like, but something that I will enjoy eating too.
I received a lot of good feedback on my lemon butter chicken recipe, so I thought I’d use similar elements for a slightly heartier chicken dish. You can’t go wrong with lemon and cream, but to amp up the flavor even more, I decided to add rosemary to the mix. Chicken and rosemary are a match made in heaven, and incorporating fresh herbs is a great way to elevate chicken breasts. And I gotta say, this lemon chicken gnocchi is soooo good!
No access to gnocchi? No problem!
Honestly, I wanted to use gnocchi because I wanted the dish to feel fancy. Also, most brands of gnocchis can cook in like 3-5 minutes — a definite time-saver. I really like the pillowy texture it adds to the dish — it’s light but it’s substantial enough to fill you up. However, if you don’t want to use gnocchi, or it’s harder to find in your area, you can use pasta as well (gnocchi is technically a dumpling, FYI). Just know that using pasta like spaghetti, macaroni, or fettucini might just take longer to cook. If you do opt for pasta, you may need to cook it separately according to the package directions for al dente, and then add it on the same step that this recipe adds the gnocchi in.
- 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts or fillets
- half a medium onion, chopped
- 1.5 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 cup cooking white wine (or regular white wine)
- 1.5 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 medium lemon, zested and juiced
- 2 tsp fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
- 1 pack (16 oz) gnocchi
- 1 pack (5 oz) baby spinach
- salt and pepper to taste
- olive oil
- Pat dry the chicken breasts and season both sides with salt and pepper. The chicken breasts I used were pretty thick, so I sliced them in half lengthwise, as if I were butterflying them. If your chicken breasts are thinner, they should be fine. On a deep skillet, heat up 2 tbsp of olive oil and sear both sides of your chicken on medium heat until slightly browned (about 5 minutes each side). Careful not to overcrowd your pan -- I fit about three of the chicken breasts in one batch. Set aside.
- On the same pan, heat up another 2 tbsp of olive oil. Sauté the chopped onions with a pinch of salt and pepper until almost transparent, about 2 minutes. Add the minced garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds. Carefully deglaze the pan by pouring the white wine onto the pan, stirring the onions and garlic around, and scraping the browned bits from the bottom. Let the white wine reduce to about half of its volume.
- Add the chicken broth, heavy cream, zest and juice of the lemon, and roughly chopped fresh rosemary. Let it warm the liquid until it starts to simmer, about 3-4 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, but remember that your chicken is also seasoned so try not to go overboard.
- Once it's simmering, add the gnocchi and warm it up for about 3 minutes. Make sure that your gnocchi aren't sticking to each other.
- Put the chicken breasts back in and make sure it's covered in the creamy sauce. Lower the heat to medium-low and continue to let it simmer for about 10 minutes. If the chicken breasts aren't completely submerged in the broth, just make sure to flip them halfway through the simmering.
- Remove the chicken from the pan temporarily and cut them into chunks on a chopping board. You can also check here if the chicken has cooked through. And if they haven't, it'll be easier to complete the cook when they're in smaller pieces. While the smaller chicken chunks rest on the chopping board, add the spinach on to the pan and slowly stir everything until the spinach has slightly wilted. At this point, the sauce should have reduced and thickened slightly. This is also when you can taste again and see if more seasoning is needed.
- Put the chicken chunks back in and warm everything or to ensure the chicken is cooked through, stirring just enough to coat everything in the lemon cream sauce. Enjoy!
// ON THE SCENE
- Bottom backdrop: Replica Surfaces — Concrete
- Props: tea towel
That looks great! I’ve never cooked with gnochi. Will have to try this. I’m with you on chicken breasts, they are boring and can dry out really easily.